The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: a Discussion Review with Lauren @ Love is not a Triangle + Giveaway

Welcome to my (joint) review of The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. If you haven't yet read the first book, scroll down and enter our giveaway for a hardcover of the The Bone Season plus an excerpt of the Mime Order! 

Lauren of Love Is Not a Triangle and I read The Mime Order at the same time, texted as we read, and then turned our (somewhat incoherent) texts--

--into a book discussion. The first half of the chat is on Lauren's blog, and the other half is below. If you enjoy this format, check out our half-and-half review of Half Bad. 

The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)
by Samantha Shannon
To be published by Bloomsbury
on January 27, 2015

Source: Thanks so much to Bloomsbury for approving me on Netgalley!

Synopsis from Goodreads: Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London. As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on. 
This is book two of a series. See my review of The Bone Season here.

Warning: Some spoilers for the Bone Season below. We have tried to mark and hide any thing that someone might consider a spoiler for Mime Order. But both of us felt that this book didn't have a lot of huge plot twists. Just one big surprise, and that will NOT be spoiled here...

Now below is Part II:

The Scrimmage 

Jen: The Scrimmage (combat in a ring for the right to rule the Syndicate) is a major event that we're waiting for the entire book. Was this dramatic showdown worth the waiting? For me, it took a long time to get there. However, the contest was finally a chance to see characters using their paranormal abilities, and that was a lot of fun.

Lauren: After being teased about what Paige and everyone else could do for the whole book, it was exciting to finally see them all in action! I was surprised about how some of the events played out, even if I expected the ultimate outcome. Overall I really enjoyed this section, but I agree it was a long wait to get there.

The romance

Lauren: What did you think about the romance? (minor spoiler) I thought Warden would remain missing for most of the book. (end spoiler.) In a seven-book series, you don't want the romance to peak too soon.

Jen : I agree, but my interest in the story definitely picked up during those romantic scenes. Even if this installment didn’t have a lot of conflict throughout, there was definitely some romantic tension.

Lauren: Yes. Thank goodness! The romantic parts were some of my favorites. They succeeded in adding tension while avoiding unnecessary relationship drama or making the focus on romance. Plus: Swoon!

Jen: Yes – for me, the romance is one of the very best parts of this series. While it falls into a classic trope -- forbidden love -- I also am finding it truly touching.

Lauren: This surprised me so much, but I agree with your assessment of the romance. I hope it can continue to increase in tension, while retaining the balanced with the rest of the plot that this book manages. Warden is such a great counter to Paige, and challenges her quite a bit in this book, including being one of the first people to say that she needed to change her relationship with Jaxon. I definitely want to see Paige grow up, but I like the way he pushes her.

Also, for those of you love triangle dislikers, there are zero other love interest prospects, and my hopes are increasing that there won't be.

Jen: Though I’m not always opposed to triangles, I think the whole forbidden love aspect gives this relationship plenty of angst. No triangles, please!

The Rag and Bone man

Jen: We have a new villain in this installment and wow, was he creepy! As you pointed out in a text to me, he wears a mask, so it's definitely possible that he could be a character we already know in disguise. He's also the head of the Rag Dolls. I can’t decide if they are silly or scary, like an evil Raggedy Ann.

Lauren: Much was made of this person and his group, and it’s for sure suspicious that we never see his face. I’m assuming that’s going to come up again, and that he’s a character we’ve seen or heard of before. The Rag Dolls title was a little silly, but they sure did some scary things. I wouldn’t want to encounter them in a dark alley!

Missing Persons  Warning: Spoilers in the section below for the Bone Season!

Jen: There are a fair number of characters who are unaccounted for, so let’s run them down. At the beginning of the book, Julian is missing and presumed dead. Paige's cousin is also supposed to be dead, but we keep hearing about. The first book also makes a big thing about two people who escaped the last bone season.

Lauren: We also have at least one other character that pops up at the beginning of this book and then disappears for the duration, though this person is mentioned again later. I think all of these people will be back. The two escapees definitely mean something. Some of these hints seem a little too obvious, though. Not the outcome, but the fact that they're hints.

Jen:  Way too many hints!  I'm a fast reader, so if I notice something being repeated, it's not very subtle.

Lauren: And Paige talks about her cousin Finn all the time! I can't figure out his importance. I keep thinking he's going to pop up, even though he's supposed to be dead.

Jen: He was also mentioned several times in the first book so I don't think he's dead either.

Lauren: Seriously, he is brought up ALL THE TIME: (a quote from The Mime Order at 40%) "It made me think of my cousin Finn and his fiancée Kay." If he's not coming back, there's no point to mentioning him over and over. If he is, there's still no need to because no way could we forget him after the last book.

Jen: Completely agree. He's going to have something to do with ... something. I wish we'd been given a few more new clues in this installment -- not the same ones over and over!

Lauren: Two books of the same clues is too much. Something needs to happen with this situation.

Final Thoughts:

Lauren: As we discussed in part one, we both had some issues with this story in general: a lot of elements were brought up over and over again – Finn, Paige’s relationship with Jax, the Senshields - but there wasn’t much change or forward momentum until the end.

Jen: Exactly! The feeling of being in a holding pattern was what threw the pace of this installment off for me.

Lauren: Despite my problems with this one, I thought the end was exciting, and I’m eager to read the next installment. Enough change happens in the last quarter of the book that I’m committed to seeing how the series progresses into book three.

Jen: I love the overall story world and the romance in this series. On the other hand, the slow pacing given the length of this book was pretty tough for me. I hope the action ramps up in the next installment!

Lauren: The romance has been one of my favorite elements in the first two books. I’m hopeful that we’re going to see a lot of growth from Paige going forward. I keep forgetting she’s only nineteen. She’s faced a lot in her life and is definitely in the middle of everything. Plus, I must discover the purpose of all of these Finn references.

Jen: Ha– if nothing else, I must keep reading to find out why we keep hearing about Finn. I’m really not sure where this series is going, and that’s something that always makes me nervous when I’m committing to such a long story arc.

Lauren: True. I can’t even think about the fact that this is only two of seven. But that also means the next one could completely surprise us in an incredible way. Since we have another long wait for Bone Season three, it’s a good thing we now have this handy discussion to help us remember everything that happened in the second book!

Enter below to win a hardcover of The Bone Season and an excerpt of The Mime Order! US only. (But if you live outside the US, you can enter to win one of my favorite books of 2014 here.) US residents can enter too :)

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  1. I just finished The Bone Season yesterday and I seriously loved it to bits! Wow! I can't wait to read The Mime Order! I'm especially looking forward to more of the romance~ Warden and Paige <3 lol Your joint discussion really has me excited! I don't know how I'm going to survive the waiting period between each book though. 7 books omg.....

    1. Exactly -- not sure if I'm up for 7 books but look forward to your thoughts on Mime Order!

  2. I love reading discussion reviews! I definitely agree that the pace was an issue for me as well in The Bone Season--it's a shame that this one was still the case. BUT, yay for a good romance and even better world building! The info dumps were really painful in TBS, but it was a pretty awesome world that Shannon created anyways.

    1. I didn't mind it as much in the Bone Season because I had a lot to learn about the world. In this book, I felt like I already understood the London setting and didn't really want to hear about it as much.

  3. I loved the Bone Season, and I have an eARC of The Mime Order on my iPad (which I am planning on reading as soon as possible!). The way you guys did the review was pretty awesome, it's something else than the average review ;)
    (By the way, I got overexcited and entered for the giveaway and only noticed that it was US-only after I entered... whoops)

  4. Yikes! I haven't read the Bone Season yet so had to skim through most of the review and frankly understood quite a lot, really LOL. I think I'll be picking this up - seems to have gotten you into such a frenzy! Great idea to review the book this way, Jen :)

  5. I picked up The Bone Season at BEA 2 years ago but once I found out it was going to be 8 books and already optioned for film I decided to skip it.

    I'm long series/hype adverse and I haven't found too many series that are actually worth 8 books. They tend to over emphasize the world/languages/the color of the sky etc instead of characters. But I haven't read either of these books so that might not be the case here.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  6. Okay I haven't read the first one so I just skimmed through your review, but it sounds really interesting. I love the sound of romance here. I need to hurry up and read the first one. Great review :)

  7. I still haven\t read The Bone Season (i'm planning on it I just haven't found the right time) but I love the joint review/discussion (although I only skimmed it since i'm wary of spoilers) LOL
    You guys have me wanting to check this series out so bad!

  8. Yes, I am so happy to hear that the romance will be progressing in this book. The kiss scene in the first book was one of my favorite parts in the first book *blush*. The missing people may not bother me as much if there is character development with the core cast of characters. I worry when new characters are continuously introduced because I prefer quality over quantity.

  9. I've already read both! I can't wait for whatever's coming next in the series.

  10. I have read The Bone Season this year I think and I loved it so so much. I am so jealous that you got to read the sequel. I haven't read your review above, but I will come back after I read the sequel. Just need to wait until it's coming out.Ahhhhhhh...


  11. This is so fun! I LOVE reading along and texting like that. I love that you guys did that with these books! I only read a portion of this because I haven't started this series yet - as I mentioned on L's post, I felt like the first book had quite a buildup of hype with it but it didn't feel like the hype was so MUCH with this second installment. I'm not sure I want to wait for this series to be completed (how many books !!!!!) so I probably should just go ahead and get started. Love L's mention of the mask - she is great to readalong with because she always points out things like to me that perhaps I hadn't noticed before. (:


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